Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-118

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 118

                  Saturday, 1 June 1996

Today's Topics:

                     Complicated Game
                Re: Tom and Joe and Colin
                  Bungalow/Kevin Gilbert
                     the near future
                  Bungalow, moonlighting
          Re: Colin the worlds best bass player
             Like The Dukes? Try this band...
                   Re: Italian Prophet
           Re: The "Pay for Andy's House" Tour
             Frost Circus/Coney Island, etc.
                    Appreciating Colin
                 An Oldie but a Moulding
               Re:  Producer's Poll Results
            Chalkids Contributor's Information
                      Re: Skylacking
              "Unresponsiveness"/More Colin
                  The boys' next move...
            beach boys, englishman and a test
                 RE: Chakhills' Children
             Re: Curt & Roland: A DISCLAIMER
                       Vintage pix


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Date: Wed, 29 May 1996 23:09:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Randy Posynick <>
Subject: Complicated Game
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9605292251.A12704-0100000@netcom21>

Richard Pedretti Allen wrote:

  >  Seriously, the bridge lyrics in Complicated Game have me stumped.
  >  They are so wet with echo that I can't decipher them.  Is there some
  >  edition of DRUMS AND WIRES that list the lyrics?  HELP!

  >  It may be something like:

  >     They want to talk, they want it rolled
  >     Do just ......  stick ......  show
  >     Little (friendly?) arrows and a very bad aim
  >     It's just a complicated game

  >  If you know please reply!  Additionally if you are better at
  >  deciphering chords than me (not surprising) and have any idea what
  >  these are (some are easy for me, a few are not), send those too.

Here are the bridge lyrics (from D&W liner notes):

   they wanted tom
   they wanted joe
   to dress 'em up and stick 'em out on show
   they were arrows in a very bad aim
   it's just a complicated game

Here are the chords (my basic interpretation):

  main bit:

  G           Gmaj7/F#    G           Gmaj7/F#
  +  .  .  .  +  .  .  .  +  .  .  .  +  .  .  .

  D7          B sus4 - 3  C     D
  +  .  .  .  +  .  .  .  +  .  .  .

  Gmaj7/F#    G           Gmaj7/F#    G
  +  .  .  .  +  .  .  .  +  .  .  .  +  .  .  .


  A -   F     C     D     A-    F     C     D
  +  .  +  .  +  .  +  .  +  .  +  .  +  .  +  .

The G and Gmaj7/F# chords are played without the third.  Not too sure
about that Gmaj7/F# chord, in general....  Haven't picked apart the guitar
solo for hints yet....

Randy Posynick


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 12:16:55 +0000
Subject: Re: Tom and Joe and Colin

Dear Chalkies,

> they wanted Tom
> they wanted Joe
>  to dress 'em up and stick 'em out on show

The Tom and Joe mentioned in the lyrics of "A Complicated Game" are
none other then Tom Robinson and Joe Strummer!

At least, that's according to the Melody Maker "Drums & Wires" album
review ( august 18, 1979 ) and this musicpaper used to be quite
_close_ to our boys in those days, so this is probably true.

So this seems to be yet another stab by AP at the music industry.

>  they were ( only ? ) arrows in a very bad aim

How true...
Older Chalkies will probably remember how the industry tried to cash
in on "the Punk/New Wave thing" with the Clash and the Tom Robinson Band.
Tom was so PC he wrote "Glad To Be Gay" when he wasn't...
And the Clash? Just listen to Sandinista! and weep...



BTW: Colin is fab! Almost all his songs are real gems...
And don't forget, he's the best melodic bass player on this
planet ( ask ANY bass player who knows XTC - he'll agree )
IMHO only Paul McCartney comes close to Colin - sometimes!

<- XTC quote for today  ->
There is no muscle in our tongues
to tell the world what's in our hearts


Message-Id: <v01530502add2b8bbcf14@[]>
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 04:02:31 +0100
From: (John Wedemeyer)
Subject: Bungalow/Kevin Gilbert

  Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of "Bungalow" enthusiasts...I
LOVE THAT SONG!! It reminds me of Van Dyke Parks. (Circa-"Song-Cycle"). I
remember obtaining a tape of the "Nonsuch" demos prior to the albums'
release and "Bungalow" was one of my faves. I love the finished product as
  I've always been puzzled as to why my XTC friends didn't like this song.
(Becki Digregorio's reaction, I believe, was "Colin has REALLY lost
it"...meaning his marbles). Oh well.
  On another note, I was very saddened to learn of the death of Kevin
Gilbert. Being a Bay Area boy, I was very familiar with his work and had
MUCHO respect for the guy. He was a brilliant pop songwriter as well as an
amazing producer and musician. And one heck of a nice guy, to boot.
  His bands, Giraffe and Toy Matinee, were the cream of the crop in San
Jose. Everyone here figured he was gonna put us on the musical map. Kevin
was definitely one of the best popsters to come out of the South Bay and he
will be sorely missed.
                Best Wishes To You All,
                     John W.

"All their fancy play-talk/sticks in out throats like cocktail swords"- Andy


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 06:25:06 -0700
From: T Lewis <>
Subject: the near future

Dopey note, but I have to get it out of my head: In a fairly recent
issue someone noted our boys' penchant for particular metaphors that pop
up repeatedly through the discography. My entry: fireworks; ie:
"life's like a firework, you're only lit once and you must stand and
radiate correctly" (great line, I think).
"like a rocket from a bottle shot free"
"the brightest fireworks are lighting up my sky"
"like a firework to which we're tied, be prepared to go through your

also...assuming that an album will be coming out in the next 1-2 years,
any way of getting the chalkhills and/or bungalow URLs on the liner

Over and out...T


From: Angry Young Man <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Bungalow
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 09:26:13 -0400 (EDT)

I love the song Bungalow too...asamatteroffact I'm cuing it up right
now....aah. :)

But after hearing all you guys wax philosophical about the song that
recalls memories of the English seaside, must it be ME that reminds you
that not too long ago we were having a discussion here about this very
song and someone realized it was a great Colin double-entendre for, um,
well, uh, "backdoor" sex? In the "Grass" tradition, Colin makes a song
that's even LESS obvious to its (less wholesome) double meaning, and for
that I applaud him.

Congrats to the band on their loss of professional Virginity...and we're
looking forward to the next angry rages from Andy and the next double
meanings from Colin and the next kick-ass guitar solo from Dave and the
next drummer- and producer- of the month to join the club.

Later guys!


"Saving it all up for you..."


Date: Thu, 30 May 96 09:55:11 CDT
From: "Bernhardt, Todd" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Bungalow, moonlighting

     Hi, fellow Chalkaholics:

     All this talk about Bungalow has prompted me to say publicly what I
     said to Christie privately: I think it's the best Berlin-era ballad
     David Bowie never wrote.

     Seriously, I agree with everyone's assessments (and got a hearty laugh
     -- as usual -- out of Simon's post) and I, too, think it's a mixture
     of serious yearning and tongue-in-cheek crooning.

     As far as the extra money issue goes, I remember reading in "The
     Little Express" that Dave and Colin (not Andy, who, I gather, makes
     more money than either of them since he gets the lion's share of
     publishing money as principal songwriter) were moonlighting as one-way
     drivers -- you know, when people move and need their cars driven
     one-way to their new destination. The driver drives it there and then
     takes the train, bus, plane, whatever, back. This was one of the most
     depressing things I ever read in that wonderful newsletter, and made
     me despair for the future of the band, but HEY!!! They're not Virgins
     anymore! That's cause enuf for celebration...



Message-Id: <9605301539.AA07117@MIT.MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 30 May 96 11:39:09 -400
From: ldsteve@MIT.EDU (Stephen Gilligan)
Subject: Re: Colin the worlds best bass player

With apologies to Paul, I really do believe Colin is the most
innovative, molodic, even inspirational bass player I've ever heard.  I
find myself saying, "Now what would Colin play here" when trying to come
up with bass lines of my own.  It used to be Paul. Hmmmm, I'm must be
getting younger....
My Colin Top Ten:  Generals & Majors, In Loving Memory.., Grass, Shiney
Cage, Generals & Majors, English Roundabout, Life Begins at the Hop,
Bungalow, Generals & Majors, Cynical Days; actually I could go on but it
does say top ten.  Although I have enjoyed XTC from the get go, Generals
and Majors, (and the girl who lived in the attic), got me hopelessly
hooked.  I never get tired of hearing them, especially when I don't
expect it, (King for a Day in the Shaws supermarket, I must have spent
twice what I normally would that day!!).  I'd help charter a CFC if
asked.  See ya - Stephen


Subject: Like The Dukes? Try this band...
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 30 May 96 12:25:27 -0400

A few months ago I bought "Acid Yantra" by a band called Sundial. I dunno; I
liked the cover artwork (lots of color in an era of drab CD artwork) and the
instruments listed on the back of the CD. The mellotron! Favorite of many 60's
artists including The Moody Blues, King Crimson, The Pink Floyd...

I like the album. And I read a review of it on "Muze" that read something
like: Sundial attempts to reproduce faithfully (as did XTC as The Dukes) the
sounds of the psychedelic 60's, right down to the sound of the cymbal crashes
and the voice through a Leslie speaker effect popularized by The Beatles on

It's unlike The Dukes' stuff, tho, in that there's little, if any,
tongue-in-cheek humor. But there's some great guitar work by Gary Ramon, who
also worked with Polyphemus on "Stonehouse", another 60's soaked album. His
guitar sounds like a cross between Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane, and his
playing is melodic.

I love this retro stuff. The Dukes was perhaps the first retro psychedelic
band, and I've been following the thread ever since.



Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 10:42:36 -0400
Message-Id: <>
From: (sirri & gino)
Subject: Re: Italian Prophet

Hi friends, the Italian quote:
> "non voglio essere un eroe, per nessuno. mi considero un Puck invecchiato,
non un qualche dio hollywoodiano dello spettacolo.", mentioned in #2-117,
can be translated as follows: "I don't want to be a hero, for anybody. I
consider myself an aged Puck [or rather "punk"?], not some stardom god from
        As an Italian prophet of the XTC credo since 1980, I happen to have
one of the few copies of the very first Italian book on the jolly chaps from
Swindon. It's "XTC", by Vittorio Azzoni, published by Gammalibri in 1986.
Among other memorabilia, it contains an exclusive interview, some pictures
and even a page of drawings and sketches by Andy. And a lot of quotes, like

        "We are the cultural stereotype of English ethnicity" (NME, October

That is, the wise man already sensed the perils of a "successful career".


From: "R.L.Crane" <>
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 17:48:01 +0100
Subject: Nasty!
Message-ID: <>

> And now that there's only Roland left, shouldn't his band be renamed Tear For
> Fear?    Oh tee hee....

Or better yet "One Down One To Go"

Har Har Har!!!! ;-)

Only Joking !

love Will



Message-Id: <>
Date: 30 May 1996 10:45:05 U
From: "Stein_Alex" <>
Subject: Re: The "Pay for Andy's House" Tour

Oops... I meant to say "After DAVE toured with Aimee Mann..."


Message-Id: <c=US%a=_%p=BDD%l=BDD/MSMAIL/>
From: "Grimm, Chris" <>
Subject: Frost Circus/Coney Island, etc.
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 15:14:00 -0400

Greetings Chalkhillians!

As this is my first posting, I hope you'll bear with me.

>This reminds me. About three years ago I settled in to watch a documentary
>on the prime of Coney Island, the US fairground to end all fairgrounds. It
>was a superb bit of work, made even more so by the appearance of "Frost
>Circus" at odd points throughout the programme. Even now I scan the listings
>to see if it is showing again. Did anyone else see it? Has anyone got a
>copy? Or know what it was called?

"Coney Island" is a documentary film by Ric Burns, brother of Ken Burns
("The Civil War", "Baseball").  In addition to being an extraordinary
film, it's soundtrack features the noted song by the lads.  The
documentary was produced as an installment in the PBS documentary series
"The American Experience." I bought a copy of the film from PBS Home
Video, though I don't have a catalog or phone number now (at work) - I
can try to track something down if anyone would like.  The wonderful
quality to the documentary is that Burns portrays historical events in a
very mythical manner, leaving viewers both shocked and enchanted by a
world which they can hardly believe would have actually existed.  His
documentary skills were used in a similarly mythological, albeit darker,
way in "The Donner Party" (a film which also benefited from a stellar
soundtrack - particularly Badalamenti's (sp?) "Dark Spanish Symphony"
(available on the "Wild at Heart" soundtrack)- to create a rich mood),
about both the heroism and tragedy of a 19th-century pioneer wagon train
that became mired in an early winter storm in the Sierra Nevada
mountains of California, leading some members to eventually resort to
cannibalism to survive.  Neither soundtrack is available on CD.  Ric
Burn's films are stylistically similar to the better known longer works
by his brother, but the moodier quality (at least in the shorter form)
works better, in my opinion, than the more upbeat almost Disnification
of history in "The Civil War" and "Baseball".  Ric Burns most recently
produced the 6-hour series "The Way West," which is most similar to the
work of Ken. I only go into this because the same quality of thoughtful
art that appeals to me in these films is probably what appeals to me in
the music of  XTC.  I hope others might also be interested.

Does anyone else think that Skylarking (or maybe a somewhat expanded
version) would be perfectly suited for stage adaptation?

That's all for now...

Chris G.


Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 15:30:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Appreciating Colin
Message-ID: <>

In a classroom, there's always the clever guy at the front - you know,
the class clown, making everyone laugh, messing with the teacher's head -
and then there's the quiet kid at the back who sits there scribbling away
at something, and everyone ignores him until he suddenly says something
so brilliant that it blows everyone away.  That's Colin, there at the back.

I didn't realize how much good stuff he's done until I read other
people's lists of favorite Colin songs - "English Roundabout," "One of the
Millions," just about everything from "Skylarking" - I hadn't really
thought about it before.  When someone's not in your face, you tend to
ignore him, or at least underappreciate him.  To previous mentions of
great Colin tunes, I'd like to add some of his early ravings like
"Crossed Wires" and "I'll Set Myself on Fire" - what a wonderful shrill
yap that man had... almost more obnoxious than Andy's.  I also like the
demos of his that I've heard, like "Find the Fox" and "Where Did the
Ordinary People Go?"  The demos he did for "Skylarking" are really spare
and wiry and interesting - pencil sketches as opposed to Andy's oil
paintings.  Great stuff.

I'm afraid I never cared for "Bungalow."  The best I can say about it is
that it effectively conveys dreariness... which is not something that
interests me much.  But when I hear you all raving about it, I keep thinking
I'm missing something - like reading a book with some of the pages cut
out.  Maybe I'll blow the dust off my copy of "Nonsuch" and give it
another whirl.

So let us lift a glass to Mr. Moulding.  All hail Colin!  And
those other two as well, while we're at it, but especially that kid at
the back with the bass guitar.  Hooray!

Natalie Jacobs
Reality dies at dawn!


Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 18:37:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: Christie <>
Subject: An Oldie but a Moulding
Message-ID: <>

Hi Everyone,

Well, I'm happy to report that several people wrote in to say that they
thought "Bungalow" is a fabulous tune.  I heartily agree. You know, I used
to hate it, but now I love it.  Who knows why.  At least it inspired
some emotion (disbelief, then dislike) anyway.  Simon Sleightholm, your
description was spot on about what I imagine when I listen to "Bungalow".
And this is a late thank you to William Ham-Bevan (hope I got your name
right!) for your excellent long time ago analysis and explanation of the

I used to hate the Big Express too, but now I love it.  It's an even
better concept album than Skylarking IMO.  Does anyone else have that
hatred turned to adoration syndrome?  Our great leader John Relph is
absolutely right about spending time every day listening to something you
hate.  Maybe this means I'll eventually love those Barry Andrews ditties
on Go 2.  Nah, I doubt it.



Date: 31 MAY 96 09:25:37 EST
Subject: "Beatlesque"
Message-ID: <>

Good morning to the calcium-enriched,
I spied a fun little item in the April '96 issue of British rock mag Mojo,
that I thought might be of interest. They have a regular feature called "home
taping", in which various staff writers compile their own imaginary cassettes
based on a set theme.  This time Paul du Noyer tackles a "Beatlesque" theme -
songs that have a distinct, well, Beatlesque sound.  Among many delights, du
Noyer chose "The Mole From The Ministry" for inclusion, and this is what he
had to say about it:

"The Dukes, of course, were an alter-ego trip for XTC back in the mid-'80s,
allowing them to dabble happily across the psychedelic pallet (sic).  The last
track on '25 O'Clock' alights upon the most mimicked Beatle track of all, 'I
Am The Walrus'."

My ears always prick up at the slightest mention of our chalk-stained chums.
And this item saw fit to mention "Beatlesque" songs from quite a few of my
other favourites: Badfinger, Cheap Trick, Crowded House, T.Rex, World Party,
The Lightning Seeds, Harry Nilsson, et al.

Might even be fun to actually make up the tape that du Noyer suggests.
Bye for now, Paul


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 10:40:38 +0000
Subject: Re:  Producer's Poll Results

Well, here are the results of the recent producers poll.  Thanks to
all the people who voted.  (Oh, and big thanks to whoever pointed out
Mitchell Froom's work with American Music Club.  I'll have to track
that album down).

Here are the main contenders:

Mitchell Froom  7
Geoff Emerick  6
Brian Eno  4
T-Bone Burnett  3
Hugh Padgham  2
Paul Fox  2

This weird and wonderful collection of people received one vote each:

Brian Wilson, Norman Smith, Ray Shulman, Gary Katz, Roy Halee,
Brendan O'Brien, Prince (!), Bob Clearmountain, Walter Becker, David
Bascombe, Harry Vanda / George Young, Van Dyke Parks, Roy Wood, Jack
Joseph Puig, Thomas Dolby, Paul Fox, John Leckie, Steve Lillywhite,
Don Was, Bill Nelson, Tchad Blake, Joni Mitchell, David Yasbek,
Donald Fagan / Walter Becker, David Gilmour, Daniel Lanois, Mitch
Easter, Scott Litt, George Martin

As long as we're really tossing ideas around, can you imagine the
results with Kate Bush?

I've noticed no-one has suggested that XTC produce themselves.  Do
people think the guys need a strong hand in the studio?  Their
production work for other people shows they have the capability to do
it themselves.

Onto another topic:  Why are people ragging on Colin?  His songs
bring another interesting dimension to XTC's sound.  I find his
straight-ahead songwriting a nice counterpoint to Andy's more extreme

Top three Colin songs:
Washaway, Vanishing girl, In loving memory of a name

Does anyone else think "Collideascope" sounds like Andy trying to
write a slice of Colin?  Even down to the vocal delivery...  I'm sure
i'm not the only one who thought Colin sang this the first time i
heard it.

And as for "Bungalow", well, you wouldn't find a song like that on a
Bon Jovi album would you?  It's XTC's willingness to explore
different styles and moods that make them so interesting.  Look at
how the lyrics are carefully constructed to sound like a real estate
ad (the use of short direct syllables and rich visual imagery).  Not
many lyricists can paint such a clear cinematic picture with such
short melody lines.  No matter what you think of the song, you can't
deny you can visualise it perfectly, can't you?

So hey, leave Colin alone!

And i haven't even mentioned his incredible bass playing...


Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 15:21:27 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Chalkids Contributor's Information


  Chalkhill's Children Artist Profile

  Sender's Name:

  Artist(s) or Group Name:
  Song Performed:
  Source of Original:

The songs reserved are:

1. Robin Myrick
(The Comfortable Chair)     ?
2. Phillip McEachern        ?
3. Peter Fitzpatrick        Making Plans for Nigel OR Grass OR The Disappointed
4. Sean Altman              Ten Feet Tall
5. Miles Coleman            Dying
6. Ben Gott                 Battery Brides
7. Chris Spillios           Dear God
8. Harrison Sherwood        Living In A Haunted Heart
9. John Christensen         1000 Umbrellas
10. Curtis Settino
(Canoofle)                  Scissor Man
11. Steve Lutz              Season Cycle
12. Natalie Jacobs          Rook
13. Dolph Chaney            Respectable Street
14. Steve (Skeg) Perley     My Love Explodes
15. Nick Mitchell
(Mirrors)                   Toys OR Ladybird
16. John Hedges             Disque Bleu
17. Christopher Burgess     All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)
18. Randy C                 Sacrificial Bonfire
19. Ned Robie               Rocket From A Bottle OR Roads Girdle The Globe
20. Walt Michulka           Generals & Majors OR Bike Ride To The Moon OR Your
Gold Dress
21. Mitch Friedman          "XTSea" Medley
22. John Neil               I'm Bugged OR Ballet For A Rainy Day
23. Gene Yoon Everything
24. Erich Walther           Travels In Nihilon
25. Martin Monkman          Thanks For Christmas
26. Christopher Burgess     This World Over
27. Christopher Coolidge    Wrapped in Gray
28. Naoyuking Iso           ?
29. Tom Slack               Meeting Place
30. Paul Brantley           When We Get To England
31. Carnine/Posynick/Pedretti-Allen
                            Complicated Game
32. Tim Kendrick            ?
33. Eric Day                It's Nearly Africa

If your listing is not correct, email me directly.  I lost a bunch of email in
the process of an system upgrade.  I relied and my computer and lost(again).
What made me think "upgrade" implied "improvement"?!

Klaus Bergmaier claims to be the only man in Austria who knows XTC.  I'm not
disputing the statement, just thought I'd pass it along.

Cheers, Richard


Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 20:52:40 -0700
Message-Id: <>
From: (huduguru)
Subject: Re: Skylacking

>Ian could respond with a little more appreciation
>for those who made an effort. I spent alot of time
>putting together a version of Season Cycle, and after
>sending it, never got so much as a "Thanks, but we're
>not interested." Good luck to those of you with a
>"reserved" song.

Amen to that, brother!
I sent Ian a version of Ballet For A Rainy Day in November, and got
back a letter saying that it would be on the tape.  Then another saying
that it would be out in March.  Next thing I know, I see that the song
is up for grabs.  Then that someone else had it.
Granted, my version was pretty straight, but as far as I'm concerned...
Fuck Him and his silly pretentious fanzine!
Sorry for the language, but I feel that it's called for in this case.
Can't wait for the Chalkhills Tribute Tape!  (I'm pretty sure that I'm
still on THAT one!)


Date: 31 May 96 00:28:27 EDT
From: studio 17 productions <104151.1063@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: "Unresponsiveness"/More Colin
Message-ID: <960531042827_104151.1063_IHO33-1@CompuServe.COM>

someone said:

>Good luck to those of you with a "reserved" song

I do not know Ian (The Skylacking Man) but as a musician with 20 odd years
experience performing and recording my own music, and working a regular day
job to pay for the privilege of being a musician, I know firsthand how busy
one can get when assembling an album.  This makes your already 70 hour week
(say 40 regular job 30 music making jobs) even longer.

I've submitted a piece for SKYLACKING, and I too have many hours of work in
it.  But if it doesn't make it, it doesn't make it.  If Ian has time to
respond "no thanks", he'll respond "no thanks".  If he doesn't respond at
all I'll understand, and try (harder) again next time.  To "warn" the rest
of us seems unneccesary somehow.

I think it a bit unfair to Ian to judge that he is "unresponsive" because
your song probably didn't get picked.  This is purely an impartial view as
I have never met him as I said.  I'd at least give him the benefit of the
doubt...the man is probably BUSY.  Carry on, make more music, sent it out
to the world.  they'll either listen or they won't.

Enough said!  Onto the important things in life:

I said last time that IN LOVING MEMORY OF A NAME was one of my fave Colin
tunes.  Several people mentioned FLY ON THE WALL, which is stunning in the
opposite extreme.  WHAT a great vocal!  truly wild.

dave @ studio 17 productions


Message-Id: <v01530502add43ff4f122@[]>
Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 01:31:25 -0500
From: (Derek Miner)
Subject: The boys' next move...

For a while now, I've been contemplating what XTC might try next, and I've
had an interesting theory for just about as long.

Remember back when the boys suffered a bit of a slump with "Mummer" and
"Big Express"? Not to say that the albums are bad (especially since all XTC
fans have different tastes, even within the catalogue), just that things
weren't going along swimmingly in the creative department. Then along came
The Dukes of Stratosphear. The band got excited about music, had some fun,
and set themselves up for their next couple records, which some consider to
be their best (at least in the later period).

Well, what all this is leading to is: Since critics started to come down on
XTC for Nonsuch, and they've been out of the studio (as a group) for almost
five years, wouldn't it be interesting for them to get re-energized by a
pseudonymous side-project? Do you think the energy will come back once the
band gets together to record as a threesome or will they still suffer from
post-contract wrangling blues? Would they need to try something light and
fun to get back in the spirit?

Just an idea for speculation...

P.S. Finally got to hear the whole Sugarplastic album. And, like someone
told me, the thing's far from original, but it's a great listen. CMJ had
said they lift liberally from Partridge, but I have only noticed a couple
particular things. I plan to listen more in depth to pick out some obvious
rips, 'cause they are definitely lurking there. "Polly Brown" is ripe with
some BLATANT XTC riffs, and one track early on has a "late riser" chorus
that IMMEDIATELY brought to mind Paul McCartney's "Jet."

= Derek =


Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 07:19:30 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: beach boys, englishman and a test


Please note:  this was composed about a month ago.  The thoughts are still
relevant so I thought I'd still share.  Enjoy!

I've been a non-participating member of this group for almost five months
and I must say that I am always impressed by the quality and variety of
information that is posted -- thanks to John Relph for his dedication in
supporting this adventure.

Anyway, the reason(s) I've decided to cross the lurkerline are:

1) I've never been a big Beach Boy's fan.  Actually I'd usually change the
station whenever they would come on the radio.  Obviously I never gave them
a chance because, after reading the XTC/Beach Boy's stuff a while back, I
broke down and bought "Pet Sounds".  All I can say is WOW!  This is amazing
stuff, especially considering when it was recorded -- I highly recommend it
to anyone.

2) Within the last several weeks, I finally heard Martin Newell's "The
Greatest Living Englishman" from start to finish.  Many times.  Like over
and over and over.

My thoughts - THIS IS POP at it's best!  Great lyrics, great tunes just a
very enjoyable disc.  My question is, is his latest offering as good or
even close?

3) Regarding the thread about the lack of popularity and the "acquired
taste" nature of the lads, I decided to do my own focus-group-of-one on a
co-worker.  She is an avid fan of Sting and James Taylor, so I figured she
would be objective.  I gave her Oranges and Lemons and Nonsuch with the
instructions to give them a listen and just let me know her thoughts.  Her
comments were that they were very good and she especially liked, as she put
it, "the words".  Next, I'll have her give Skylarking a try.

4) Now for something completely different: A friend of mine who works for a
bank was telling me about a "smart card" (computer chip on a card) credit
card project taking place in the UK.  Guess where the site is - you got it,
Swindon, home of the 3 lads and the big roundabout.  Apparently the test is
going so well, that Visa USA and MasterCard are scrapping their test
protocols to adopt the Mondex (UK card issuer) protocol.  Of all places!

That's all for now - back to the village of ex-lurkers - mark

"I talk in pictures not in words" - P. Gabriel


Message-ID: <>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: RE: Chakhills' Children
Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 15:53:04 +-100

I've just started work on my tune "Making Plans for Nigel". Hard bit has
been re-learning the guitar. I played it upto about 6 years ago and
recently bought a new one (been playing keyboards since then). Fortunately
it's worked out pretty ok so far. Now that I've experimented a little on
the sounds I've swayed away from doing a note-for-note cover version and
will try to do something a little original.
Should sound like an absolute gas - my Irish brogue and those lyrics. Ha

How's everyone else doing ?


Date: Fri, 31 May 96 17:33 BST-1
From: (Psion plc  Joe Odukoya)
Subject: Re: Curt & Roland: A DISCLAIMER
Message-Id: <>

Just to say...

> Are "Curt" and "Roland" such uncommon names that this becomes an
> internationally viable assumption?

Probably not, but together...

>    And why do we see these posts now, twelve years after the LP's
> release, after hundreds of issues of Chalkhills?  Come on Ben & Joe, when
> you get together to fabricate your trans-Atlantic trolls, you're going to
> have to do better than this.

Sorry to rain on your parade (whoever you are) but I have never heard of
this Ben guy (I read chalkhills so infrequently these days).
I'm afraid coincidences DO happen and this was one...

> But seriously, let's put this one to rest before it becomes another "Dear
> God" thread.  We all know that Andy, Colin and Dave were just gently
> thanking the Kurzweil (familiarly known as "Curt" among Teutonic
> keyboardists) and Roland companies,

Sorry, I don't buy it.

The Bath connection seems much more likely (to me!) but it probably isn't
worth speculating on.  I was just wondering if someone knew "the real


- Joeo -


Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 15:34:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Vintage pix
Message-Id: <>

Hiyall Chalkhillians,

I stumbled across a new (?) book which might interest fans of the early,
"punkyish" XTC, at least on a visual level. Be warned, though: its
subject is the record company we've all come to despise and whose
shackles our trio has finally gotten away from...

The book is called "VIRGIN, A History of Virgin Records", by Terry
Southern (I suspect this isn't the late great author of "Candy" and "The
Magic Christian"), and the publisher is -- no kidding -- "A publishing
company". Don't expect big revelations about the inner workings of the
beast: this is mostly a self-absorbed picture-book put together almost
haphazardly, with minimal editorial input and maximum navel-gazing. (The
book sells for a whopping $37.95 in Canada.)

So why bring it up? Well, it's got a great looking spread of the
Partridge-Moulding-Andrews-Chambers XTC on pages 62-63, prominently
featuring a quite energetic looking Andy -- you almost feel those
creative sparks flying! There are two other pictures of the band in the
book (pages 167 and 247 -- I may have missed some, since I leafed through it
pretty fast), one more of the quartet and another of the actual trio,
an outake from the Skylarking LP's inner sleeve photo session (in full color).

It's worth a look, and at least it gives a fair shake to the band, which
is much more than they actually got at the end of their horror story with
Virgin, as we all know (and more than they get in some near-sighted
"history of r'n'r", etc., books).

The Scissor Man

P. S.: What's the deal with those continuing -- and annoying -- swipes at
the "over thirty" constituency? If one follows that half-assed notion
to its logical conclusion, then Andy, Colin and Dave would be amongst the
"unaffiliated", wouldn't they? Isn't it high time to leave behind that
divisive and unproductive "generational divide" bit and concentrate on
the unifying factor here, over and beyond all demographics? Just my 2 cents.


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-118

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